ROYALTON -- A state grant will help Royalton jump-start its 15-year-old industrial park off Birch Street South.

The $200,000 grant is from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Activity (DEED). The city hopes the grant will attract more businesses to the area. Mayor Andrea Lauer says they're excited about the grant and what it may do for Royalton.

"Economic development in rural Minnesota is kind of an uphill battle. Anytime we can get something that can make us a little bit more competitive, we really appreciate that."

Lauer adds the next step for the site is to extend some city infrastructure to it and give it some better publicity.

"Water and sewer infrastructure is going in. And we'll have to work a little bit more on getting the site marketed a little bit better."

The site was originally laid out in 2002 before the housing crisis and recession in 2008. Lauer says the city hopes that by developing the industrial park, it will benefit other parts of Royalton.

"There's also about 140 acres right across the road that will also benefit from having that infrastructure, so the opportunity for development in the city of Royalton is greatly expanded."

A stainless steel manufacturer called Infinity is going to be the first tenant of the industrial park. In a news release, Little Falls Representative Ron Kresha says the grant is a great opportunity to bolster its economic growth and create more, good-paying jobs.

Other Central Minnesota cities have received this grant as well, including St. Cloud, Rockville, Long Prairie, Cold Spring and Little Falls.

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